The coffee shop is my office away from my office. It is a fun place to hang out, enjoy an overpriced cup of joe, and take in the sights and sounds of my community. But that is not the only reason I am sitting at a coffee shop blogging right now.
As a Pastor, I consider my responsibility to my community. And I do not think that I am only responsible for those who walk through the doors of ReCAST on Sunday morning. A part of me wants my responsibility to be well defined. But in reality, my calling is not easily defined by a list of those who have signed up to be members of ReCAST.
This past week, I have had some very significant conversations with strangers at the coffee shop. I have had the chance to fully share the glorious good news of Jesus Christ three times this week in natural, comfortable dialogue. I have interacted with two people who have been deeply hurt by religious experiences in their past. And two other people referred to themselves as recovering from religion. I also was able to connect a new donor to our local food pantry, invite a couple of people who were looking for a church to ReCAST, and on top of all of that I read about 200 pages of theology, did grammatical analysis on Scripture and wrote a sermon. And one morning 7 different people from ReCAST came through and I was able to interact with them all.
All this happened in a coffee shop. People in the community do not just stop in my office for a chat. I love coffee. But honestly, I have a pretty decent coffee maker at home. I have a nice quiet office to study in. But there is something about the coffee shop that connects me with community in a way that broadens my involvement and provides opportunities I would never get just sitting in my office at church.
Where do you go to connect with your community?